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Two conferences on Family Pictures, Hamburg/Munich

Subject: CFP: Two conferences on Family Pictures (Hamburg/Munich, May/July 2017) Hamburg and Munich Deadline: Oct 15, 2016 Family Pictures Conference of the Research Group "Naturbilder/Images of Nature" (University of Hamburg, Art History Department) and the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI), Munich. Family pictures I: "Humans and (other) Animals" - Hamburg, May 4-6, 2017 Family Pictures II: "Saints and (other) Humans" - Munich, July 6-7, 2017. After it had long fixated on the problem of the individual sitter, art-historical research on the portrait has increasingly considered in recent years such issues as social norms, contextual forms of representation, and codes of identity in their historical and geographical dynamics. While group portraiture has been thoroughly explored as a paradigmatic genre of the social relationships of the individual, the comparatively modest engagement with family portraits and family representations in the broadest sense is surprising. It is precisely here where emerging forms of the social are particularly apparent. Furthermore, the tensions between cultural-social and physical-biological dependencies are, in the case of family portraiture, of paramount significance. Our two-part workshop is dedicated to the visual strategies between "nature" and "culture" and to the oft-claimed analogy of biological and artistic similarity-relations between "model" and "image", producers and offspring. Family images prove to be a richly differentiated field of experimentation; they are modeled after filial descendants, hierarchies, social boundaries, and continuities. The conference's two sessions approach the question from opposite poles. Within the realm of Western-European art the special model of the Holy Family assumes particular art-historical relevance (which can be traced through comparisons with models of holy families from other religions and cultures). While here the biological "foundation" of family is radically questioned, representations of animal families can reflect and modify the human paradigm of what is meant by pure "nature". In both cases, the stakes involve the enculturation of nature and the question of the natural foundations of social, economic, and legal culture. At the center of our two workshops, pictorial forms of filial representation stand between these delineated poles. In addition to art-historical contributions, we are interested in those from fields of cultural and theater scientists, science and social historians, and ethnologists and anthropologists. Conception: Frank Fehrenbach & Ulrich Pfisterer Please send us a brief abstract (about half a page) and a CV (max. 2 pages) until 15 October, 2016: naturbilder@uni-hamburg.de (subject line: "Familienbilder")
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